On Tuesday, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that the nation’s reading and math scores were down virtually across the board on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Shortly after I left Mitchell’s workplace, I watched Garcia and Randi Weingarten, her counterpart at the American Federation of Teachers, hold a news conference outside the Education Department’s front door, featuring two hunger strikers who have been protesting the closure of a troubled Chicago higher college. Duncan pursued a profession in education to address the plight of vulnerable minority youngsters in Chicago, but the frustration outside the department’s Lyndon B. Johnson building was heartfelt. He also got to know a Democratic state senator named Barack Obama, who shared his not-so-Democratic vision of reform as properly as his enjoy of hoops.
DUNCAN ARRIVED IN Washington at an extraordinary moment for the nation in basic and education policy in certain. Chris Christie’s allegation that the Obama administration had improperly denied his state a grant. But he exploited one instance of that dysfunction — Capitol Hill’s repeated failures to revise the unrealistic deadlines of No Youngster Left Behind—to accelerate the administration’s reform agenda.
But at the very same convention, the NEA endorsed the president’s reelection, as if the education secretary whose household hung out with the Obamas at Camp David was some kind of rogue operative. In truth, at least 30 states have pushed new early childhood initiatives considering that Duncan and Obama began clamoring about pre-K, like deep-red states like Texas, Alabama and Mississippi.
In reality, although, the Obama legacy on education is stuffed with huge factors achieved in the capital. They had juice not only with Republicans who opposed government mission creep in general but with many crucial Democrats, and an Education Department proposal to take more than all loan origination stalled. White Property officials didn’t fight for the program, telling Duncan’s employees they could not afford to alienate Democrats whose votes they needed to pass overall health care reform. The student loan overhaul was a funds-saver, so they tacked it onto the health bill, all of a sudden transforming the Education Division into 1 of America’s ten largest banks.
That is a large deal at a time when the price of a degree has soared and state spending on larger education has plunged. Obama’s leading larger education priority is expanding access, and Duncan has been a loyal soldier in that fight. Most recently, he’s been a vocal advocate of the president’s plan to make two years of neighborhood college free of charge for all, and he actually loves the notion of converting government-financed K-12 into pre-K-14. As their windfall earnings have vanished, for-profit education stocks have cratered because 2010.